Puttin' it all on the line
WORTHINGTON -- Paced by dual first-place finishes by both Suze Peters and Ashley Aggen, the Worthington Trojans racked up 142 points and posted a 32-point team victory in the seven-team Wildcat Invitational Thursday.
Windom won six events and edged host Southwestern United, 110-105 for second.
Southwest Christian (78), Tracy-Milroy-Balaton (56), Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central (45) and Hills-Beaver Creek/Ellsworth (21) completed the girls' field.
The boys' meet went down to the final event, where Tracy-Milroy-Balaton outscored Southwest Christian, 8-6, in the mile relay (4X400) -- allowing the Panthers to claim a one-point victory, 136-135, over the Eagles.
Worthington finished a solid third with 112 points, followed by W-WG/RRC (76), SWU (44), H-BC/E (36) and Windom (14).
Extremely windy weather conditions hindered performances in many events -- but aided times in the high hurdles, 100 meter dash and 200 meter dash, as well as distances in the long and triple jumps.
Aggen breezed to convincing wins in both hurdle races, clocking a time of 16.81 seconds in the 100 meter highs, and later leading a one-two Trojan finish in the 300 lows. Aggen (49.12) and Katy Russell (52.29) gave Worthington 18 points in that event.
Peters (12.90) nipped Windom's Abby Luitjens (12.91) and SWU's Sara Kontio (12.99) in a closely-contested 100 meter dash race, before picking up 10 more points by sprinting to victory in the 200, clocked at 27.44.
Windom won the 4X100 meter relay (53.72) and had a pair of gold medal efforts by Christy Nepp, who won both the discus (121 feet, seven inches) and the shot put (34-6).
The Eagles tacked on more field event points, as Alyssa Lyons won the pole vault (8-6) and both Maggie LaMaack and Lindsey Elston cleared 4-8 to go one-two in the high jump.
Windom's sixth first-place performance was turned in by Alex Potter, who churned a stellar time -- considering the wind -- of 2:27.96 to win the 800 meter race by nearly 10 seconds.
Southwestern United raced to a victory in the 4X200 meter relay (1:54.94) and also had a first-place performance by Betsy Voehl in the long jump (15-7½), along with a one-two finish by Cassie Cselovszki (5:49.45) and Rachel Wilson (5:50.23) in the 1,600 meter run.
Southwest Christian won both the 4X400 (4:19.75) and 4X800 (10:27.51) relays. Kayla Broekhuis gave the Eagles 10 more points with a first-place finish in the 400 meter dash, clocked at 1:04.08.
Worthington's Kaitlin Gerber won the 3,200 meter run (12:17.30) and SWU's Bria Baumgard sailed 33-6 to win her third straight triple jump title.
Four athletes -- Drew Nelson of T-M-B, Travis Pedersen of Worthington and both Ethan Spronk and Tyler Mouw of Southwest Christian -- were each double winners.
Nelson leaped his way to 20 valuable points for the Panthers, winning both the long jump (19-5¼) and the triple jump (42-2½).
Pedersen, who placed second in the triple jump (40-8), sprinted to wins in both the 200 (22.84) and 400 (54.46) -- racking up 28 individual points to help the Trojans.
Both Pedersen and SWC's Nicholas Pfeifle (22.87) ran under 23 seconds in the wind-aided 200 meter dash event.,
Spronk (4:54.30) won a close race over Worthington's Felipe Ortega (4:55.63) in the 1,600. He later ran to victory in the 3,200 (11:01.59), while Trojan Brian Juber (11:06.05) was second.
Mouw (46-3) won the shot put by nearly seven feet and added 10 more points with a victory in the discus (122-8).
In addition Nelson's twin first-place finishes, the Panthers picked up four more individual victories -- and scored a win in the 4X200 meter relay (1:34.50).
Dalton Kirk won the 110 meter high hurdles (16.60), Brandon Kirk won the 100 meter dash (11.49), Ryan Tholen finished first in the 800 meter run (2:08.13) and Josh Hook topped the field in the pole vault (11-6) to account for 40 Panther points.
But trailing by one -- going into the 4X400 meter relay -- the Panthers needed to score two more points than SWC to win the meet.
W-WG/RRC won the event, clocking a time of 3:39.43. T-M-B finished second (3:41.58) -- scoring eight points -- while SWC (3:49.45) finished third, earning six points.
The Chargers also won the 4X800 (9:19.86) and picked up an individual first-place from Prestin Parker in the high jump (5-6).
Brooks Knutson, who finished third in the high hurdles (18.84), scored a victory for SWC in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles (45.39). Teammate Aaron Sandbulte was second in the highs (17.26) and third in the intermediates (47.63).
H-BC/E sprinted to a victory in the 4X100 meter relay (46.63).